When the global pandemic hit Germany, I - as many other people - found myself having to work from home (wfh). The last time I did “true” wfh work was almost one year before that, and by that time I was already used to commuting, going to the office, meeting with coworkers, you know the game.

Me being used to the whole office workflow, however, meant that I had a truly hard time trying to adapt to wfh again. Back when I was still working from home, I mostly worked on weekends and whenever I felt like it. Now, having way more responsibilities and a full-time schedule, was a different story, though.

So I went out (to the internet) to look for a “guide” that would help me with my time-management and focus issues, as I was hardly getting as much work done as before wfh. It didn’t take long to find people recommend Make Time, whose authors also worked on Sprint, so my judgement was to “try it out”.

Quicky getting in the mood of fully reading it thanks to its witty humor and fun (real-life) remarks, I was mainly looking for impressions on how I can use some of the tips to get back to productivity. The author’s comments sprinkled throughout the book helped to relate my own problems to theirs, thus also to their recommendations.

Some of the tips I found myself to use:

  • 8 and 9, 13: Blocking out my calendar for focus phases and highlights helped me to stick to my schedule, to communicate times with my coworkers and to have a feeling of satisfaction whenever I finished one block.
  • 14: Much later (only in the last couple of weeks), I wanted to try out getting up early and finishing important things when I was sure I had uninterrupted focus. This also helped to get more things (running errands, spending time on my hobbies, etc.) done in the afternoon.
  • Cutting out infinity pools (and 24, 26): Uninstalling Twitter (temporarily), Instagram and some other apps I fell back to when I didn’t have anything else “to do” helped not just with my focus but also did good work on making sure my mental health stayed on bearable levels throughout some of the most dramatic days earlier this year (2020)

If you find yourself having similar issues or want to try out some of those tips, I highly recommend reading this book. Even after finishing it, I sometimes come back to inspire myself to make time for the things that truly matter to me, and it is correct to say that Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky helped me with that.